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scottb
09-03-2002, 02:00 AM
My initial thoughts:

I've loaded up a quite a few pastel products into the product review system. You can check the demo at any time to see what is there, what isn't, etc. They are under the DRAWING/ILLUSTRATION category.

What we need to do is to continue compiling a solid list of the vendors and their brands If you can find vendor logos/info for vendors that don't have them yet, product images, product descriptions, etc., post 'em here and I'll incorporate them into the review system. If you can't find product images of good quality, product descriptions, etc., or don't have the time, that's okay - just post the vendor/brand name here, and I'll research it.

Also, we need to focus on the rating types for the various pastel-related categories. To get us started, feel free to look at the Oil Paints thread for some ideas, as well as the current list of questions for Oil Paints.

The Current List

Here is the current list (which I will try to keep as up-to-date as possible):


Brilliance: How brilliant are the colors in this line? 5 being Brilliant, 4 Bright, 3 Average, 2 Below Average, 1 Chalky
Variety of colors in this line (1=poor, 5=great)
Consistency (1=poor, 5=great)
Pigment Quality (1=poor, 5=great)
Blendability (1=poor, 5=great)
Value for the money (1=a waste, 5=a deal!)


Cheers.
Scott

mmdm
09-03-2002, 04:27 PM
I would suggest -

1. Brilliance, with 5 being Brilliant, 4 Bright, 3 Average, 2 Below Average, 1 Chalky

2. Colors Available, with 5 = 500 & up, 4 = 300-499, 3 = 200-299, 2 = 100-199, 1= under 100

3. Lightfastness or permanence (might be hard to verify)

4. Value, meaning are they worth what they cost, rather they are cheap or expensive. 5= well worth the price(or more than worth it) , 4= good value, 3= average value, 2 = poor value (not worth the price, 1= very poor value (don't buy them :) )

Things that would be helpful to know but that can't be rated as good-bad would be softness/hardness, shape (square or round, and diameter), whether half sticks and whole sticks are available, and whether the sticks are paper wrapped.

kck
09-04-2002, 12:25 AM
dakotapastels.com has offered the following comparison of soft pastels, rating from the softest on:

1. Schmincke
2. Great American
3. Sennelier
4. Unison
5. Diane Townsend
6. Mount Vision
7. Girault
8. Rowney
9. Grumbacher
10. Art Spectrum
11. Rembrandt
12. Winsor & Newton
13. Holbein
14. Maimeri
15. Faber-Castell Polychromos
16. Nupastel
17. Cretacolor

Regarding Pastel Pencils:
1. Faber-Castell Pitt 2. Carbothello 3. Brutnzeel 4. Derwent 5. Conte 6. Cretacolor

Food for thought. Talk amongst yourselves...

scottb
09-04-2002, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by mmdm
1. Brilliance, with 5 being Brilliant, 4 Bright, 3 Average, 2 Below Average, 1 Chalky


Good one.


2. Colors Available, with 5 = 500 & up, 4 = 300-499, 3 = 200-299, 2 = 100-199, 1= under 100


This is a factual piece of information about the product, and not really something we can ask people to rate. Of course, we could ask them to rate the "color variety" in the line from 1-5.


3. Lightfastness or permanence (might be hard to verify)


In oil paints, this varies from one hue to the next, which makes it impossible to rate. I assume it is the same with pastels.

Things that would be helpful to know but that can't be rated as good-bad would be softness/hardness, shape (square or round, and diameter), whether half sticks and whole sticks are available, and whether the sticks are paper wrapped.

I agree - that's why I try to find product descriptions that are as detailed as possible - tough sometimes, as most of the manufacturer's web sites are pathetic. Which leaves me with the retailer's web sites, which is a bit better, but still ...

Cheers.
Scott

jackiesimmonds
09-06-2002, 01:32 PM
Scott - it might also be good to talk about pastel supports. Lots of people new to pastels do not realise that there are various different surfaces one can work on, and white paper is actually the least easy! I don't know if this owuld be appropriate for this kind of thread, but thought I would mention it.

If I can be of any help, do let me know. I have worked with pastels for about 25 years, and my images are on some of the Winsor and Newton boxes! There are, however, far fewer manufacturers of pastels here in the UK, and you also have different papers etc, so perhaps I wouldn't be as useful as an experienced US pastellist.

Jackie.

scottb
09-06-2002, 02:31 PM
Pastel supports will be in another category - in this particular category, we are focusing on just the actual pastel medium itself.

Cheers.
Scott

scottb
09-08-2002, 05:26 PM
I've updated the first post in this thread to show the latest rating question list for pastels - thoughts?

mmdm
09-09-2002, 12:12 PM
I've had another thought that might be helpful, but I'm not sure what to call it. Consistency of texture throughout all colors, maybe? For instance, I have a set of Senneliers which is always advertised as being very soft and buttery, which most of them are, BUT a few of the colors in my set are so hard they scratch the paper and are virtually unusable. On the other hand, I have a very old large set of Grumbachers which are a harder pastel than the Senneliers, but they are a consistent texture throughout the line with very little if any difference in the softness between colors. They would get a much better consistency rating from me. I sure wish Grumbacher still made these big sets.

AriadneArts
09-11-2002, 01:22 AM
Melisa, you've hit on something that I've often complained about. I find, especially the darkest colors in Sennelier are often gritty and scratchy, kind of be-lying their "very soft" description. However, Schminke's are nice and smooth and also very very soft.

scottb
09-11-2002, 01:39 AM
I've updated the list at the top to reflect "Consistency".

Koert
09-13-2002, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by mmdm


4. Value, meaning are they worth what they cost, rather they are cheap or expensive. 5= well worth the price(or more than worth it) , 4= good value, 3= average value, 2 = poor value (not worth the price, 1= very poor value (don't buy them :) )



I think it might still be interesting to know (at least for me, but i'm sure i'm not the only one here for whom money is a big issue) to know if they are cheap or expensive, regardless of wether they are worth it
i think those are two different things, both important

scottb
09-13-2002, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by Koert


I think it might still be interesting to know (at least for me, but i'm sure i'm not the only one here for whom money is a big issue) to know if they are cheap or expensive, regardless of wether they are worth it
i think those are two different things, both important

Unfortunately, whether it is expensive or not isn't something that can be measured on a scale of 1 to 5. It would skew the results. Just because something would be rated a "1", doesn't mean it is a bad product. Likewise, if something is a 5 in terms of expensiveness, it doesn't mean it is a great product. That's how we came up with Value for the Money. :)

TeAnne
10-05-2002, 06:44 PM
In Australia we have Swan Stabilo CarbOthello soft pastel pencils. I dont have all the colours but some that I have are rated with a star. (eg:)
Pale Blue # 1400/435 has *****
Crimson Red # 1400/330 has **
Sky Blue # 1400/450 has *** etc.

Will this be any good Scott? I can make up a list of what I have.

AND I just found this on the website.


Pastel chalks of a different kind

Pastel colors are beautifully refreshing and expressive. With CarbOthello, the technique is easier and cleaner. Convince yourself.

Practical: Pastel crayon in pencil form
Dry & Dusty: The stroke, like charcoal or chalk
Brilliant: High brilliance and covering power, even on dark backgrounds
Effective: Ideal for dry mixing and blending
Interesting: Can be painted with water
Powerful: High light-fastness and color brilliance
Advisable: Treating with a fixative
Clear: Asterisks (max. 5) denote the light-fastness on each pencil
Strong: Lead diameter of 4,2 mm
Available: in 60 colors

http://www.stabilo.co.uk/home.htm

GeraldineNesbitt
10-12-2002, 05:18 PM
Not sure if I'm on the right track, but I find that Senellier are beautiful to work with and much softer and easier than unison or Windsor & Newton

GeraldineNesbitt
10-12-2002, 05:20 PM
An addition, only one down side of Senellier, I wish they named ther colours rather than numbering, for a beginner I think it would be more informative

TeAnne
10-30-2002, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by TeAnne
In Australia we have Swan Stabilo CarbOthello soft pastel pencils. I dont have all the colours but some that I have are rated with a star. (eg:)
Pale Blue # 1400/435 has *****
Crimson Red # 1400/330 has **
Sky Blue # 1400/450 has *** etc.

Will this be any good Scott? I can make up a list of what I have.

AND I just found this on the website.


Pastel chalks of a different kind

Pastel colors are beautifully refreshing and expressive. With CarbOthello, the technique is easier and cleaner. Convince yourself.

Practical: Pastel crayon in pencil form
Dry & Dusty: The stroke, like charcoal or chalk
Brilliant: High brilliance and covering power, even on dark backgrounds
Effective: Ideal for dry mixing and blending
Interesting: Can be painted with water
Powerful: High light-fastness and color brilliance
Advisable: Treating with a fixative
Clear: Asterisks (max. 5) denote the light-fastness on each pencil
Strong: Lead diameter of 4,2 mm
Available: in 60 colors

http://www.stabilo.co.uk/home.htm

I've prolly put this in the wrong spot. :confused: :confused: I just don't know what to do, sorry:confused:

Redsy333
11-25-2002, 09:04 PM
Something that comes into play after youve purchased and used the pastels. Is the option of Ordering, whether or not they are offered in open stock. I know that with portraits I run the mill quickly on certian colors.
Just a thought:D
I have a question though....Is this already set up, I cant seem to find the thread if it is! I may totally off kilter or is this still in the works?
Thanks
Redsy

scottb
11-25-2002, 09:14 PM
Currently, the pastel items are viewable, but not yet ratable. Just need to wrap up these rating questions. :)

Things like "open stock" are not ratable on a scale of 1 to 5. That is more of an "attribute" of a product - sort of a yes/no thing.

Will try to work this in.

Cheers.
Scott

Mikki Petersen
12-09-2002, 07:10 PM
I agree that whether or not the color range is available in open stock or not is very important. I do a lot of landscapes, relatively large pieces, and go through greens quickly, especially the softer brands. I hate buying a set to replenish one or two colors. Some brands carry every color in open stock, like Nupastel, which has a fairly short list of colors, but I find many others with a much wider range do not.

Is it possible for the rating to have less than five answers for some questions?

For this one rating might be:
1. Only is sets
2. Most popular colors available open stock
3. Open stock on full range of product

Mikki Petersen
12-09-2002, 07:23 PM
I don't think 1=poor to 5=great is quite informative enough.

How about something more like:

5=Consistently buttery, no particulates.
4=Mostly smooth, occasional particulates
3=Average consistency, some colors better than others
4=Unpredictable consistency, varies from color to color
5=Poor consistency, unpredictable from piece to piece

I suppose I'm being nit-picky and poor to great would work just as well as long as what each rating had an understood definition.

I consider the consistency of Nupastel to be very good because every piece works like the next. Another pastellist would shudder at that rating because they are a hard consistency compared to the softer lines.

Another factor that would be important to me, but I do not know how it would be conveyed is how crumbly the sticks are. For the most part, I love Senellier, but some of the colors fall apart easily. Schminke is unbelieveably butter, but I will not be buying any more because the few I've tried, crumble to coarse dust when used. What category would this be?

Mikki Petersen
12-09-2002, 07:31 PM
I noticed in an earlier post, the category of supports was rejected.

When working in acrylics, I am less concerned with the support because the medium works well on a wide variety of supports by adjusting consistency or technique. When working in pastel, however, The choice of support is often critical to the outcome and support characteristics vary widely.

For example, Artbord works well for almost any medium BUT pastel, not enough tooth to support a complex work. Pastelbord, on the other hand, works nicely for pastel and is suitable for virtually any medium except maybe pen and ink.

There are more new supports coming on the market all the time for pastellist as the medium gains popularity and it would be wonderful to be alerted to new supports and to have a rating for them.

scottb
12-09-2002, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by 1mpete
I noticed in an earlier post, the category of supports was rejected.

Oh, it wasn't rejected! It will be a separate category - this discussion is for the pastels themselves. :)

Artistammy
01-10-2003, 11:42 AM
I'm trying to find more info on choosing pastels. I looked for the review in Drawing & didn't find it. I also had trouble coming up with search terms that yielded what I want. Where is the review info?
Tammy

scottb
01-10-2003, 02:31 PM
There is no review info yet, because we haven't rolled out the pastel products into our review system. I'm still waiting for something definitive to come out of this thread, with regard to how best to rate them ...

Jazz
02-27-2003, 03:15 AM
A possible thought is do the vendors do starter packs for beginners and what rating would someone give them? I am very new to art and want to try all the mediums but my funds are very limited and I would love to know if all the mediums were available in starter packs/introduction packs. So maybe including that in the rating system would be useful, I know it would be for me:) I would like to know who has the best starter pack and why it is the best would be useful.

Would it be possible to give starter packs there own mini -rating system or checklist when people are rating particular brands? ie
value for money, practicality, conciseness, helpfulness(many include pamphlets and booklets with useful info, completeness.

Please let me know if this is at all possible, as coming from a complete novice as I am I would love to know.

Warm Regards,

JAZZ

Dyin
05-08-2003, 10:22 AM
Is this only going to be for soft pastels? Would like to see more about oil pastels...also, pastels are usually called paintings, not drawings....being rather new here I might not find it as easily under that heading...and maybe I missed it but how about durability...in both soft and oil some break or crumble more easily and if you're a scrubber or like to blend in thick layers it can make a big difference in how long your sticks will last.

IndigoRed
06-10-2003, 04:27 AM
Hi, dont know if this would be helpful or not in here but figured "what the heck"........

I saw a post in this thread about "Price issues"............ I have for the past 5 years compared prices with just about every art supply website there is online, including auctions........I have designed a program (intended to keep records organized)
And ive compiled a very extensive list from student/hobby grade to professional grade art supplies, including a comparitive list to the major/known/reliable sellers and their prices.

Why you ask lol

It may look like im cheap........way cheap......but see it from my point of view.........Money today means alot no matter how rich or poor you are.........but.......to me what i buy with that money is more important...... so being a semi-professional artists , ;)
with minor obsessions like oil paints and pastels, i want the best and i want more if i can stretch that dollar......

To me Retail is what makes Starving artists Starve!

And this "Product Review Forum" is alot of help, and a price list would be even more of a help........so i offer .......that is if anyone is interested .....help in that area ....just email me, I know the WC Admin.'s are hard at work so i would love to help my fellow artists :D

[email protected]

Stephanie Williams

Dyin
06-10-2003, 09:23 AM
Hey, Stephanie, that' looks like it would be a big help...your not kidding when you say Retail makes starving artists starve...I'm going to email you but I know that even though price is a huge issue, so is service...some places will hold your money if an item is out of stock and if there's a minumum purchase amount then you can't even use it until you get up more money. Some take forever to deliver an order too. And some places are more expensive but have a lot of sales that actually get you the items cheaper. But you had to go to a bit of work to compile this list so I'm interested to see it...

Hey, is it me...or is there a new look for WetCanvas today???

bcraver
08-21-2003, 08:08 PM
I do not think that pastels should be stuck under drawing/illustration. I think of them as a painting medium (and I think that others should think of them that way also!) They are listed as a medium in the WC Forums "explore media". Why are oil sticks found in painting when pastel sticks are found in drawing? Please reconsider, or people looking for pastel reviews will not be able to find them without using a search.
Huff!!! Thanks for listening, now that that is off my chest, I can say that I think product reviews will be very helpful.

Raikilady
01-15-2004, 10:24 AM
Melisa, you've hit on something that I've often complained about. I find, especially the darkest colors in Sennelier are often gritty and scratchy, kind of be-lying their "very soft" description. However, Schminke's are nice and smooth and also very very soft.

Have you tried Diane Townsend's Terrages for super dark colors that do not scratch and are not gritty. They cost more, but they are worth it!!!!

LoveFaces
10-18-2008, 03:39 PM
The grittiness has to do with the pigments used. Generally, the binder used in student grade pastels will have things like kaolin clay which can have hard bits. Better pastels, like Sennelier, will have hard colors due to the pigment itself. When it's the actual pigment that is gritty, then that is just the nature of the pigment and not much can be done except look for another color that has a feel you prefer. Further grinding may make a color smoother and softer, but some colors (some mineral colors and earths particularly come to mind) will lose their luminosity if ground too fine. The facets of the microscopic particles give it it's beauty which you give up in excessive grinding. You will find in most brands which use real pigments and not synthetics, that there is some degree of variation in consistency. So consistency may make it easier or make it feel nicer but it doesn't mean they're better and it often means quite the opposite.

I also have to agree about categorizing pastels as a painting medium and not a drawing medium. Professional pastelists usually consider completed works to be paintings.